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Let this summer be your best one yet by taking advantage of all that Ottawa and its surrounding areas have to offer. Don’t break the bank with expensive lunches or waste the warm weather with indoor activities! Take your family and friends to one of Ottawa’s many picnic spots today:

Rideau Canal

You don’t have to travel far to find the perfect picnic spot. The Rideau Canal stretches from Dow’s Lake to Ottawa’s downtown core - nearly nine kilometers of waterside lookouts, grassy areas, and park benches. Due to its length, it is quickly accessible from a large part of the city and can be reached by car, on foot, or by bike. For a full afternoon of outdoor fun, pack a picnic and some paddles! There are numerous options for water activities offered along the Rideau Canal including affordable canoe, kayak, and paddleboat rentals. You can also take a walk by the water to the Pedestrian Bridge and padlock your love to the Corkstown Bridge.

Parliament Hill

You haven’t truly experience Canada’s Capital until you’ve spent a sunny afternoon relaxing on Parliament Hill. The centerpiece of Ottawa’s downtown landscape, the well-kept terrace of Parliament Hill offers the best view in town, overlooking the Ottawa River, the downtown core, and glimpses of Quebec. Make a day of it and book a free tour of Parliament for after you’ve finished your picnic. If you prefer an evening outing, pack your meal and an extra blanket and get cozy in front of the popular sound and lights show where you can enjoy the artistic displays while learning about the history of Canada.


For a more adventurous afternoon, hop on your bike and bring your picnic to Ottawa’s Dominion Arboretum. This unique collection of trees and shrubs offers a panoramic view of Rideau Canal, Carleton University, and Dow’s Lake. After your picnic, take a hike through the unique microclimate and explore the diverse collection of plants and foliage in this hidden oasis within the busy city. Extend your outing by taking a trip to the nearby Botanical Gardens or Experimental Farm for an affordable and memorable family activity. 

Meech Lake

Located in the Municipality of Chelsea, Quebec this Gatineau Park Beach is a popular destination for swimmers and picnickers. Bring a blanket, your bathing suit, and lunch to beat the heat at this scenic beach. Meech Lake is equipped with trained lifeguards (during open hours), dry toilets, change rooms and paid parking. Add some exercise to your afternoon by choosing one of the hiking trails that departs from the beach’s parking lot. These trails overlook the beautiful park and clear bodies of water. 
Don’t miss out on one of the Capital’s various spots for outdoor activities. Pack a picnic and off you go – and don’t forget sunscreen!

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